The slow commodities market has finally claimed a junior iron ore producer, as West Australian miner Pluton Resources Limited looks set to go into receivership.
However Pluton has struggled on, calling police on receivers when they entered the West Perth office.
The West Australian reported that mining contractor Watpac has suspended operations on the high-grade Cockatoo Island iron ore mine with 60 workers stood down, as receivers were appointed by the Chinese joint venture partner Rizhao Port Group Logistics.
According to Pluton disclosures, Watpac is owed about $19 million for work on Cockatoo Island.
Pluton may seek an injunction against the seizure of the company, after taking advice on the validity of the receivership appointment.
Pluton has had a rocky fortnight, celebrating $48 million of capital raised two weeks ago, only to face an attempt last week to remove Pluton as manager of the joint venture by estranged JV partner Wise Energy Group.
Pluton advised the market of the move on Thursday, but said it did not believe the takeover move was legally enforceable.
The move may have arisen as a result of a dispute over payment of project costs, as Pluton believes Wise owes $20 million in project costs.
On Friday, FTI Consulting entered the Pluton Office to act in their capacity as the appointed receivers, however Pluton called police to have the FTI representatives removed from the premises.
Officers did attend the office, however no criminal offence had been committed.
Two other Australian iron ore miners have succumbed to the commodities price slump in the past year; IMX Resources in South Australia and Western Desert Resources in Northern Territory.